What Lies Ahead
Over the past week or so, I heard a lot of comments from friends about how they were thrilled 2016 was going to be over, because it was so terrible, and they were looking forward to 2017 which couldn't come fast enough.
Given that all of them were generally referring to not just a list of basic problems that had occurred, but also Donald Trump winning the presidential election piled on top of all that, while I understand the point of what they were saying, my immediate reaction was always, "Your perspective is terribly askew."
I don't mean that they shouldn't be so bothered by Donald Trump winning the election. Rather, I mean that because they are so bothered by that (and rightly so), the very problem that bothers them SO MUCH is not only not going away just because the calendar flipped a page, but that very problem will now kick into reality. If you feel horrified that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States in 2016, then turning the page to 2017 is the year the result of that becomes real, and he actually takes office.
Me, terrible as 2016 was -- on several levels, besides Trump (notably losing my father) -- I was absolutely fine with time coming to a standstill and holding off 2017 as long as possible. Either that, or perhaps make a hyper-jump and skipping forward until after Trump's presidency is over, whether electorally or by impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.
For those who are looking forward to 2017 for the joy of a Trump presidency, all I can add is the old admonition, "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it." There's also the Pottery Barn Rule -- "You break it, you own it." After all, the Republican Party now controls the House, Senate and White House. They own the economy. They own unemployment. They own foreign affairs. They own the fight against terrorism. I hope everything goes great for everyone, all Americans. But given who's in charge and his total lack of experience and sociopathic, egomaniancal personality, and the people he has surrounded himself by, I'm not expecting it.
Nor should anyone, including his most pervent supporters. And it's not just me saying that, it's Trump himself. After all, this is how he welcomed in the New Year with his end of the year Tweet --
What a truly awful, dismal, pathetic statement from an incoming President of the United States. Good heavens.
One dearly stretches all reasonable belief and hope that he understands a few very important things. That a) he will be president of ALL Americans, not just those who voted for him or even like him, b) those who criticize him, even harshly, are "opponents", not "enemies, and c) Hillary Clinton got 2.8 million more votes than he did.
But I'm not holding my breath on that. The best I am hoping for is that he at least ends up telling the truth more often than he defaults to making things up and trying to keep fooling the American public. But I'm not holding my breath on that, either.
On the other hand, the beloved Chicago Cubs did win their first World Series in 108 years during 2016, so at least one thing went well...
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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